File Photo

File Photo

Town of Castor owned radio tower has safety issues

CAO: ‘I know you are legally obligated, once you know that it is unsafe, to make it safe.’

The safety of a radio tower located between the Town of Castor administration office and the Beaverdome has been deemed to be unsafe, and was brought back to council’s attention during the Nov. 8 meeting.

An engineering study performed several months ago has determined that the tower is overloaded by up to 22 per cent, and is leaning by three per cent.

Due to some question as to who actually owned the tower, council had been unwilling to spend the money to get the repairs needed.

However after doing some legwork, Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee has now determined that the tower is owned by the municipality.

“I know you are legally obligated, once you know that it is unsafe, to make it safe,” said Robblee.

The first step towards making the tower safe will require an engineering company coming in and re-surveying the tower, so that an engineering study can be done to engineer a fix.

“Safety has become a factor,” said Mayor Richard Elhard. “We need to move on this one, sorry.”

The Castor radio tower is used for a variety of private and public services, including police, fire, and emergency medical service radios, and Internet providers.

An estimated cost to complete the full reinforcement required to make the structure safe will be around $25,000, which would have to be funded from reserves as it is considered an unallocated, but necessary, expense.

With the ownership of the radio tower confirmed, Robblee did recommend to council that they review the tower rental rates in 2022 for the private companies utilizing the tower.

Castor Golf Course requests

Castor Golf Club’s request for increased support was back before council during the meeting.

A delegation from the Club had presented to council in September making several requests.

The Club requested that going forward the Town only use contractors for repairs on the golf course facilities and services instead of Town staff.

Additionally, the Club has requested that the Town enter into an annual operating and capital agreement with the Club, as well as take over responsibility for all the insurance for the Town-owned buildings.

However, as part of the agreement, the golf course has made clear their position that they would not accept a termination clause or, “Any clause where the golf course needs approval to improve the land or buildings.”

A final request made by the Club was for the Town to donate a campsite for the use of the golf course manager at a cost of $600 per month.

“For information the Town of Castor provides a $5,000 grant, discounts the utilities by 50 per cent, pays half the insurance for all buildings and pays half of all utility costs,” wrote Robblee in his request for a council decision.

“We do give them a fair amount of money, just not in cash,” said Robblee, before letting council know that the total value the Town contributes to the Club comes to about $20,000.

After a brief confidential session, where the matter was discussed further, council went back into a public session, and in a motion put forward by Coun. Kevin McDougall moved to offer the Club the campsite for the manager for the 2022 golf season.

McDougall also moved to table all further requests until a further meeting date.